Created by Bafta winner Dominic Savage (The Escape) in collaboration with the three leads, each hour-long film follows a different women as they experience “moments that are emotionally raw, thought-provoking and utterly personal”.
The broadcaster is keeping I Am Nicola, the episode starring Vicky McClure, tightly under wraps — and the third instalment starring Gemma Chan doesn’t yet have a title — but Channel 4 has released details about I Am Kirsty, the episode starring Samantha Morton (Minority Report)…
Here’s everything you need to know about I Am Kirsty.
The hour-long film is set to air later this year — watch this space for more details.
What’s Channel 4’s I Am Kirsty about?
Shot over the summer and autumn of 2018, each of the three episodes is co-authored and developed by its female lead, a collaborative process that Samantha Morton compared to “singing a duet” during a Q&A at the BFI & Radio Times Festival.
In I Am Kirsty, Morton stars opposite Paul Kaye’s Ryan, who’s described as a menacing presence in Kirsty’s life.
Kirsty is struggling to keep afloat and protect her two young daughters. Working as a cleaner, she is having difficulties paying off debts and, after a frank conversation with a colleague, she contemplates sex work as a means of earning money. The film explores the sacrifices she makes for her family — and how far she’s willing to go to ensure their survival.
Series producer Krishnendu Majumdar said, “Dominic Savage’s work always speaks to the most contemporary and urgent of questions, taking a scalpel to modern life.”
A second episode will star Line of Duty actress Vicky McClure, and is currently titled I Am Nicola.
Where did the idea for I Am Kirsty come from?
Speaking at the BFI & Radio Times Festival about how she conceived of Kirsty, Morton, who spent many of her early years in care, said: “As a child I was around two women who — two different women — who were forced into sex work through poverty or a man forcing them to do it for money.
“And that was, when I played Tracy in [British TV series] Band of Gold, that was my source material for that, all those years ago. And also living in children’s homes and around children who were exploited into sex work.”
Speaking at the same event, Dominic Savage said: “It was interesting because, looking into it I met some women who had done this [worked as sex workers]… I knew that what we were dealing with is something that is real and is happening. I was very keen to try and describe what these things feel like, what the harshness of it and really the devastation and the impossibility of the situation.
“[While filming on] the estate that was in the film, the amount of people who I met living with kids, single parents, that were very close to the edge and had actually had this experience as well.”
Who stars in I Am Kirsty?
Two-time Oscar-nominee Samantha Morton plays Kirsty, a single mum struggling to keep her family afloat after her partner walks out on them. Morton has starred in numerous Hollywood films, including Woody Allen’s Sweet and Lowdown, Minority Report, Elizabeth: the Golden Age, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. She’s also appeared in various television series, including The Walking Dead, The Rosie Project and Harlots.
Samantha Morton (Getty)
Co-starring with Morton is Paul Kaye who plays Ryan, a parent at the same school where Kirsty’s two daughters attend. He runs into Kirsty after she receives some difficult news.